Three weeks ago our missionary team along with 8 leaders from our church here in Vanuatu were in Fiji for the South Pacific Field Leadership Conference. Missionaries and leaders from across the South Pacific came as well; they came from Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji. It was a very challenging and inspiring time as the Holy Spirit spoke to us individually through our leaders, Dr. Louie Bustle, Rev. Verne Ward and Rev. James Johnson. We praise the Lord for the lives that were changed in response to the call to be sanctified. Wesley went forward to give himself completely to God on the first night of the conference. The Lord continued to work in his heart throughout the week. Many of us committed ourselves to a new level of relationship with our Lord as He revealed sinful habits that needed to be crucified in order for Jesus to reign supreme in our lives.
During each day we received instruction and were equipped with tools that would enable us to take the message of Jesus Christ back to each of our countries. God's Word was our instruction book as we discussed strategies for reaching the people of our islands for Christ. We had wonderful times of praying together, trusting the Lord for the salvation of people back home who needed Christ and also trusting Him for the courage and boldness we needed to do His will.
Before we even left the conference, Satan began his attacks. He began right away trying to bring division and dissension within our group. In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul writes, "Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." Upon arriving home from the conference, Graziella's husband took her suitcase and began to burn all her clothes. We praise the Lord for her protection as her husband then began to abuse her physically. She hasn't allowed this incident to dampen her desire to tell others about Jesus. As a result of her witnessing, she has been asked to come to 3 separate locations to share in Bible study with other ladies.
Wesley had the opportunity last Friday to share with the youth about the new thing that the Lord has done in his heart. He shared with the power and enthusiasm of the Holy Spirit. Several young men came forward that night to pray and ask the Lord to come into their lives. We are grateful for the chance Wesley had to share with and pray for the young people.
Since then and throughout this week we have felt a spirit of oppression and discouragement. There have been more problems with division in our church at Malapoa. We are keenly aware of the fierce battle raging all around us. We need your prayers more than we ever have before. "Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere." Please pray:
Ø That we'll be bold and courageous and that we'll remember that God has won the battle against sin and Satan.
Ø That we will remain focused on Jesus Christ and not fix our eyes on the things around us.
Ø That God will give David clear vision for taking the Gospel to the people of all the islands of Vanuatu.
Ø That each of us will remain surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Ø For the breaking down of Satan's strongholds – men addicted to kava, broken marriage relationships, immorality, the culture of shame, gossip.
Ø That none of us will yield to the temptation to be frustrated or discouraged.
Ø For the marriage class on Saturday evenings, the youth Bible study on Tuesdays, the Sunday services at Malapoa, Tebakor, and Teouma, Wednesday night prayer meetings, various Bible studies in homes, ministry to the women in prison and to the prostitutes in Port Vila
Ø That the ni-Vanuatu leaders in our churches will be filled with the Holy Spirit and his love.
David and I were reminded this morning as we prayed, that the Lord has given us a powerful team. All of you who are praying are in the battle with us against Satan and his evil forces. We ask that you not just pray a little, but pray often and pray in the power of the Holy Spirit for these requests. Please pass these prayer requests on to your church or others that you know will join us in praying. May the Lord guide you as you lift these needs in prayer to His mighty throne.
Trusting in Him for the victory,
David, Sylvia, Wesley, and Nikki